- Also known as
Col Hugh Montgomerie Sinclair
primary name: Sinclair, Hugh Montgomerie
- individual; military/naval; British; Male
- Life dates
- 23 Feb 1855-10 Jul 1924
- British army officer in the Royal Engineers with archaeological interests whose engineering works in Larnaka, Cyprus in 1879 led to the discovery of important remains from the harbour quarter of the ancient city of Kition. Some of the finds were sent to the British Museum the following year. Sinclair also served in Ghana with the Royal Engineers in 1896 during the British attack on Kumasi. He brought back two chairs from the royal palace, one of which is now in the Museum collections.
Sinclair's long military career is outlined in his memoirs, Camp and Society, edited and published after his death in 1924 by his wife Rosalie. This book includes chapters on his period on Cyprus between 1878 and 1886. Then a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, he supervised the partial demolition of an ancient mound known as the Bamboula at Larnaka in 1879, during which various archaeological remains came to light. Some were acquired by the British Museum through the then Foreign Secretary Lord Granville. His report on the work, which included a schematic map of the area, is preserved in the British Museum archives (see Bailey 1969-70, 37-8 and passim; pl. XV). Sinclair played a role int he creation of the Cyprus Museum in 1882 and replaced Lt Kitchener (later Lord Kitchener of Khartoum) as its honorary curator after the latter's departure for Egypt the following year (Stanley Price 2001, 270).
Several portraits of him in later life (1918) can be found in the National Portrait Gallery:
- Bailey D. 1969-70, 'The village priest's tomb at Aradippou in Cyprus', British Museum Quarterly XXXIV, 36-58.
Sinclair H.M. 1926 (ed. R. Sinclair), Camp and society (London).
Stanley Price N. 2001, 'The Ottoman Law on Antiquities (1874) and the founding of the Cyprus Museum', in ed. V. Tatton-Brown, Cyprus in the 19th century AD. fact. fancy and fiction (Oxford), 267-75.
Obituary, The Times, Friday, Jul 11, 1924, p. 16; Issue 43701; col E